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Getting the triple-screen?

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
What have you all decided about getting the triple screen? I am right in the zone (16-18 weeks) and keep going back and forth on it. on the one hand the test itself is risk free and could potentially provide some useful information. On the other hand the false positive is really high, and I would need to be really convinced that there was a realtively good chance that something was wrong before I would risk the amnio. But I would definitely want to know if there was a real abnormality with my baby, as early as possible so all my options were open... ugg, why does everythign have to be so hard????

so what did you decide and why?
post #2 of 35
We had a positive, which led to an amnio, which almost led to a miscarriage. The positive was FALSE, we had a perfectly normal baby girl. I would never ever ever ever do it again. Ever.
post #3 of 35
I refused it when I had a midwife, and then had UP's. Glad I did, because I would never want to have been bullied into aborting my beautiful son and missing not only an amazing pregnancy, but being able to hold him.
I'd much rather not know and be at peace, able to enjoy what I have, than to spend my whole pregnancy grieving, scared and confused.
post #4 of 35
I decided to do it with my last pregnancy, and was very happy I did. I did have a positive screen, and had an amnio, but in the end everything was fine. I knew in my heart that I couldn't be pressured into terminating if something were wrong, and in fact that was the farthest thing from my mind. I would never have aborted my pregnancy at that stage, all I wanted was to know. My concerns were more stressful for me than I felt knowing something was wrong would have been. But I'm the type of person who would rather know and be emotionally prepared than wonder.

The triple screen does only test for three things though, all of which are compatible with life (although Trisomy 18 babies don't usually make it to a year). So while even combined with the amnio it is not a perfect test, and cannot guarantee you a healthy baby, it will tell you about major abnormalities that can't always be seen on U/S.

A suggestion though, if you do decide to do prenatal screening, I would ask about if your area has IPS available. This test (Integrated Prenatal Screening) combines two blood tests (similar to the triple-screen) with a nuchal translucency ultrasound. While the triple-screen alone has a 20% false positive and false negative rate, the IPS has a 3.5% FP and a 5% FN.

Good luck with your decision, if you'd like any more answers or personal experiences that I can help you with, let me know.
post #5 of 35
The last time and this time I have passed on it. I figured what ever came our way, came our way. I truthfully could not think of a reason to have the test done.We also decided that if a test is not mandatory to continue on at the center we are going to pass on it.
post #6 of 35
We passed on it last time and this time we opted to do the 12 week nuchal fold ultrasound with a finger prick. It has a much lower false positive rate and gives the results in the form of odds (like, 1 out 12000 chance of trisonomy 18) versus just saying positive or negative. We will be skipping the second blood test (the one they do at 16-18 weeks).
post #7 of 35
The triple screen also gives results in terms of odds...
post #8 of 35
I wasn't offered a triple screen, but a quad screen. I decided to do it, but I will not do an amnio under any circumstances. I have been on several medications during this pregnancy (before we knew) that can cause some pretty severe birth defects. That is the only reason I chose to do it. I just did it on tuesday and haven't heard back yet what the results were.
post #9 of 35
Can the medication cause the things that the quad screen screens for? Cause usually chromosomal problems aren't a result of environmental factors, however spinal cord defects (spina bifida, anencephaly, etc) can be. Just curious what the medication can cause to happen.
post #10 of 35
I'm not doing it.

I'm not overly worried about the possibility of abnormalities- they don't run in either family, and both of us are young and healthy. The presence of some defect wouldn't change the fact that this is my child- it would just make the rest of my pregnancy stressful as I imagined all the possible outcomes and scenarios.
post #11 of 35
Nope not having it. Discussed w/ my nurse midwife on Friday, She seemed relieved I didn't want it. The false pos. rate is SO HIGH. (& the addl tests carry risk)
post #12 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by blissful_maia
Can the medication cause the things that the quad screen screens for? Cause usually chromosomal problems aren't a result of environmental factors, however spinal cord defects (spina bifida, anencephaly, etc) can be. Just curious what the medication can cause to happen.
Well the medications I've been on cause a lot of birth defects. One has a 1 in 5 chance of having a large range of birth defects with the most common being spina bifida. If continued it would have also given me a 1 in 5 chance on mental delays with a 1 in 10 chance of mental retardation. (not a nice medicine). The other, if I hadn't stopped it when I did (which was hopefully in time) has almost a 1 in 5 chance of causing a large hole in the heart (larger than the body can naturally heal) which usually results in infant mortality. I know not all the possibilities can be detected by the triple screen, but the more serious ones can, so I thought it worth while for that reason.
post #13 of 35
Just had my first CNM appointment last Thursday and all the tests were offered to me. When she mentioned the triple screen I said no. The CNM's reply was "Are you sure, it's 3d and that's where they can see the baby so much more clearly?". She kind of confused me...I started thinking, well I could see the baby very clearly-that would be cool.

But after mentioning it to my DH, he brought me back to reality.

So even though I'm AMA...I won't be having it. I'm a stresser, and I would not have a peaceful pregnancy w/ this little one if they said there was a chance something was wrong. I want to enjoy every moment of our babies life inside me.
post #14 of 35
No, I've never done it and will not do it this time either. Too many false positives and I know I would never terminate, so I don't see the pt. Also I have incredibly bad luck with these things. I just spent a month worried because I thought I had Hep. B(the regular bloodwork came back +) but after additional testing it turns out that was a false positive. So I put myself and my family through a whole bunch of nothing. If I can't pass that, I figure there's no way I won't at least get a false positive with the quad screen.
post #15 of 35
[QUOTE=soccermominsd]Just had my first CNM appointment last Thursday and all the tests were offered to me. When she mentioned the triple screen I said no. The CNM's reply was "Are you sure, it's 3d and that's where they can see the baby so much more clearly?". She kind of confused me...I started thinking, well I could see the baby very clearly-that would be cool.

QUOTE]

I'm not quite sure I understand what your CNM was talking about. A triple screen is just blood work. That sort of ultrasound is a seperate thing. I am doing one of those too. The naval hospital I have to deliver at (hospitals, yuck ) is trying to get me to think the ultrasound is a normal required thing. I know of nowhere that requires a level 3 ultrasound. That's just laughable. I have decided to do it though. It really didn't require much thought in this case. It just seemed the logical responsible thing to do. Especially since that's the extent of the testing I will allow them to do. They wouldn't even get to do that if it weren't for the high possibility of complications in labor from all these medications.
post #16 of 35
I had it done last week. I initially said I wanted to pass, but DH is a planner and was interested in having it done. We would never terminate, and I'd probably refuse an amnio, but he felt better having it done. I figured since it was just a blood draw and no risk to the baby, I'd go along with his wishes.
post #17 of 35
With all due respect, in response to "I figured since it was just a blood draw and no risk to the baby, I'd go along with his wishes." and others of you who get the triple screen and will refuse an amnio...

There is risk to the baby, IMNSHO. Very real risk. IF you get a positive, and many of you testing will... even if it is false... then you will have reason to worry, no? So, you spend some time, or all your time, worrying and stressed about what might be. This affects the baby, poses very real risks to the baby.

Not trying to change your minds, just wanting to point out the related possible risks to the family, including the baby. Testing usually causes MORE concerns and stress, not fewer.
post #18 of 35

Good book

"The Tentative Pregnancy" By Barbara Katz Rothman is one of the most informative, thought provoking books I read during my CBE and doula training.

I highly recommend it to anyone considering testing, birthworkers, or those lay people interested in the issues surrounding birth and prenatal testing. It is less of an argument for or against testing, and more of an exploration of the development of testing, its affects on mothers, babies and families... even communities. So much stuff in there I never even thought about.

Give it a look-see!
post #19 of 35
I never had. I was 1st pg at 22 and read the false positive rates and said.. Ah, no. This is our 4th pg, and the answer is still, ah... no.
post #20 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by ariahsmum
With all due respect, in response to "I figured since it was just a blood draw and no risk to the baby, I'd go along with his wishes." and others of you who get the triple screen and will refuse an amnio...

There is risk to the baby, IMNSHO. Very real risk. IF you get a positive, and many of you testing will... even if it is false... then you will have reason to worry, no? So, you spend some time, or all your time, worrying and stressed about what might be. This affects the baby, poses very real risks to the baby.

Not trying to change your minds, just wanting to point out the related possible risks to the family, including the baby. Testing usually causes MORE concerns and stress, not fewer.
Some mamas, and I can attest to this because I am one of them, feel better with a negative screen, and would in fact be more worried without the test available (due to family history, past pregnancies, medication as a PP has said). I just think you need to be conscious of that, that it may actually alleviate the stress for some mamas.
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